Cleaning and Maintaining Outdoor Furniture

Some popular ideas to keep your outdoor furniture clean and well maintained.

Outdoor furniture can be made from a vast array of materials. Most outdoor furniture can be cleaned with a hose pipe and soapy water, but you will still need to know how to protect it from the elements.

  • Wicker furniture can be cleaned with a hose pipe. If it is particularly dirty then soapy water will wash off caked mud and other dirt. Once washed and dried, apply a coat of wax to keep it looking great and waterproof. Keep the cushions inside to protect them from the elements.
  • Wooden furniture that has been treated with an outdoor varnish or other protective coating can cleaned with soapy water, ensuring that the soap is rinsed off properly before allowing the furniture to dry.
  • To maintain fabric coverings, wash them on a gentle cycle in a washing machine. Always cover the furniture with the fabric as this will help to prevent the fabric from shrinking. Keep fabric coverings and cushions inside when not using them for a long period.
  • Plastic furniture is the easiest to keep clean. Simply spray and use soapy water for stubborn marks. If there is mildew on the furniture, treat it with three litres of water, a cup of bleach and two cups of detergent.
  • Steel furniture, usually made of aluminium, wrought iron or steel, can be cleaned with water and soap. Often the frames are made with a rust-proof coating. If not, then use a wax or jelly that is suited for the task.
  • Umbrellas need maintaining, especially after having been stored. The fabrics covers can be washed and the joints on a metal umbrella should be lubricated. For wooden umbrellas, clean with soap and water, rinse and then apply a paste wax to enhance the shine and beauty of the wood.